Not Done Yet: Notre Dame Mounts Crazy Comeback in ACC Tourney

Not Done Yet: Notre Dame Mounts Crazy Comeback in ACC Tourney

It was an uneventful final few minutes with Duke claiming an 88-70 victory over the Irish to move to the ACC Tournament semifinals.

The Hokies led 34-21 at the half but were outscored by the Fighting Irish 50-31 in the second half.

"From a pitching standpoint, I think our kids - the younger guys - just need to understand that they need to just trust their abilities and trust their strengths and not give the hitters too much credit and not think as much", he said.

But just completely fell apart the last 15 minutes defensively.

That's not exactly how it went down.

The morning of February 20, a Tuesday, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey took his two star seniors out to breakfast and hashed out over hash browns Notre Dame's postseason picture. But before Nikeil Alexander-Walker's 3-pointer with 28.6 seconds remaining, Tech had gone six-plus minutes without a point.

"I think T.J. did a fabulous job running the point, and everyone contributed on the offensive and defensive end", said Rex Pfluegner, "And you've got to give credit to Austin Torres, he came in and gave us that defensive edge that we were looking for". They finished 4-of-16 from beyond the arc. Austin Torres set himself up to take a charge and Chris Clarke added a push to Farrell, resulting in a technical. The Fighting Irish only outscored Allen and Bagley by 14.

But did the T turn the game irreversibly? The once 21-point deficit was cut down to four with only 3:39 left to play. The Hokies and Irish did.

It was also Bagley's seventh 30-point game of his freshman season.

A loss would have all but eliminated the Irish from NCAA Tournament consideration, but the win has ESPN giving them a 72% chance at making it to the big dance.

As postseason play arrives, the Blue Devils are into the details

Early action can, and often does, deceive. The Irish's 21 points at half were their fewest since February 3 against NC State when they scored exactly 21, too.

He knew the defense was working. The harsh reality for Notre Dame is, it was never consistent enough, even with Colson, to build a case.

I didn't necessarily think that we were great in the first half or the second half offensively. The Fighting Irish are averaging 8.7 three-pointers per game on 37.5% shooting from beyond the arc. It's recently resurrected senior leader, Bonzie Colson, appeared a tired, shell of himself after missing almost two months with a broken foot.

Thursday night, Bagley almost had his best performance of his short college career, a highlight reel in the paint no Notre Dame players, from freshmen to seniors, could contend with. You don't miss 15 games and magically regain your legs in a week. They are 18-13 on the season and finished with an 8-11 record against Big 12 foes.

Notre Dame has an uphill battle against the second-seeded Duke Blue Devils, but after last night, anything is possible.

Duke is certainly beatable, but the Blue Devils are starting to play really well.

Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. can dominate in the paint, and Grayson Allen is capable of scoring from anywhere on the floor.

In that January 29 matchup, the duo was glaringly absent, nursing injuries on the bench, and Brey's squad fell 88-66 at raucous Cameron Indoor Stadium.

This was the fourth straight year that Duke and Notre Dame have met in the ACC tournament.

The Irish have made the tournament in seven of the last eight years.



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